What follows is a tale of ambition unchecked. A tale of grand ideas smashing against a reality that wouldn’t allow them. A tale of fortunes made and lost. A tale of a game that was to be, and then wasn’t. Pieces of it still exists, strewn to the four winds of the world, strangely mimicking the game world it created for itself.
So sit back and prepare yourself to learn of the horrifying tale of the game called: Serpent’s Tongue.
It all began in 2012 when Kickstarter was a relatively new site. Games back then weren’t bringing in the multi-millions regularly you now see today. One man put up a game called Serpent’s Tongue – Become Magi, a collectable Card game that was also a coop game, that was also a RPG that was also a Alternate Reality game that was also IT’S OWN LANGUAGE.
And it was inexpensive! For $45 you got a box with two codexi, a bunch of cards, a timer, chits and a whole bunch of pretty, pretty stuff! And free shipping Domestically! WOW!
1,261 backers later and $195,101 transferred, the project was to become a reality. Now we can speak of printing delays and the like, those come and go, but problems began as shipping charges increased as time went by, but the money was going into all these pretty, pretty things.
And people didn’t just get the $45 dollar base game, but CASES of more packs of cards, adding more weight to their packages. The price of the cards became more and more, but the money raised again was the same. Development on the promised 40+ hour solo campaign was reliant on workers who were getting paid, and now they became volunteers due to lack of funding as the money dribbled away to printers and shippers.
Shippers began refusing to ship pallets due to money owed.
Customers began complaining that their packages weren’t received.
Customers had bid at the “Lifeline” level, which meant they would receive one of everything for the life of the product line.
They now questioned if the product line would HAVE a life.
More and more skids full of boxes got stuck in customs for failure to provide fees.
More demanded their money back for lack of product.
The amazing idea put forth in 2012 melted away by 2014, and very little has been heard since.
But the game still exists in a few people’s hands. Some of the Lore is floating out there. Some fans create more and more for it, allowing some RPG like play. Occasionally you can stumble upon a site that has an old duel on it, roleplayed out and you think of what could have been.
The secondary market is still alive, and I couldn’t resist. I found a base set for a very reasonable price and picked it up. Dang, it IS pretty.
I don’t doubt for a second, that if the kickstarter were dropped today, and the tiers started at $95, instead of $45, this would be a million dollar game.
However, inexperience now leaves it in the realm of obscurity.
But I’ll play it here anyway. I’ll introduce some of the lore, I’ll fight a monster (either one I create or one from the game itself) and you can see the mechanics at work. Then you can be added to the other 1,300 or so people who dream of what could have been.